QUEENSLAND MARKET MONITOR is a quarterly electronic publication entirely focused on residential sales and rental research data for regions throughout the State, on a suburb-by-suburb basis. Statistics for the September quarter have just been released, and I have included the information specific to the Cairns region below to keep you informed on what’s going on in the Cairns Property Market.
The Cairns property market has performed consistently, with most of the September quarter conditions the same as June, except for a small lift in sales activity for both the house and unit sales markets.
Vendors grew more confident and priced a little more aggressively, which they then discounted to close the sale, and this pushed the average vendor discounting rate up slightly compared to a year ago.
Residential developments remained low-key with only smaller scale developers active.
According to local agents, overall confidence in the market grew and the region enjoyed a better lead-up to Christmas this year compared to last. Listing prospects also improved and this has provided a healthy forecast for 2016.
The outlook for the region is very positive with recent major events including the North Queensland Economic Summit and the Tourism Innovation Conference.
At the Tourism Innovation Conference, well-known demographer Bernard Salt said that the region had the opportunity to tap into the Chinese market and become the “Pacific playground of the rich and powerful”.
Cairns will host the basketball heats for the 2018 Commonwealth Games, as well as other cultural events, and these highlights will boost the region’s tourism industry.
The strong result for the September quarter came as no surprise as at is typically the strongest selling period of the year. In fact, the September quarter has recorded an increase in activity every year for the past six years.
Preliminary house sale numbers were up 12 per cent with the upper end of the market performing the strongest. House sales in the $500,000-plus price point were up around 25 per cent and four homes exchanged hands for in excess of $1 million.
Activity in the sub-$500,000 price point also remained strong, resulting in the median sale price remaining relatively balanced, up 2.6 per cent over the quarter.
Average days on market continued to improve with Cairns now rivalling Toowoomba as the fastest selling region, with an average 67 days on market.
Listings were up 19 per cent over the year, however, some ambitious vendor pricing has resulted in the average vendor discounting rate increasing slightly to 6.4 per cent.
With growing investor interest in the region, the Cairns unit market is finally showing very positive results with improving days on market and average vendor discounting compared to the same time last year.
Although interest is growing, investment purchases are said to be most predominant in the affordable segment of the market. Units priced within the sub-$150,000 price range are most popular. Considered within the “safety zone” for non-local investors, some are being bought sight unseen.
Over the quarter, preliminary unit sales were up 12 per cent with the median sale price up 2.5 per cent. The region’s unit market however still has some way to go with the annual median still down on that recorded five years ago.
Cairns’ residential rental market remains healthy with just 2.6% per cent vacancy. Tenant enquiry levels have reportedly softened along with some agencies acquiring newly built rental stock which is adding to supply.
Median rental prices have remained strong with increases recorded for townhouse rentals over the September quarter as well as one-bedroom flats.
A thank you to Deborah Duffy for providing me with a copy the latest REIQ Qld Market Monitor report. If you’d like a full copy of the report simply email Deb at email@example.com